This weekend features a packed slate of racing across the country, with three 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby points preps happening across the country. In addition, the fourth pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is open for betting.
Starting on the East Coast, the Gotham (G3) is set for Saturday at Aqueduct. The race shapes up as a battle of two titans of the training ranks in Bob Baffert and Chad Brown.
Baffert comes into the race with Freedom Fighter, who will look to earn his first stakes victory. He finished second in his most recent trip, the San Vicente (G2) on Feb. 6 at Santa Anita.
Freedom Fighter will take on Brown’s Highly Motivated, an Into Mischief colt who comes into the race for his 2021 debut after winning the Nyquist at Keeneland on Nov. 6.
Those two face tough competition in Capo Kane, who began the year with a win in the Jerome in January before finishing third in the Withers (G3) on Feb. 6.
Free past performances are available for the Gotham from our friends at Brisnet.
In Florida, 11 colts are set to run in the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. The field is led by Sam. F. Davis (G3) winner Candy Man Rocket, who has won his last two races.
Trained by Bill Mott, the Candy Ride colt will take on Boca Boy, who finished fourth in the Davis, as well as Awesome Gerry, who ran seventh in the Holy Bull (G3) in his most recent trip.
Sittin on Go, trained by Dale Romans, also will appear in the race. The Brody’s Cause colt has not finished better than sixth in any of his last three races, but he became the first to earn 2021 Kentucky Derby points when he won the Iroquois (G3) on Derby Day in September 2020.
Check out free PPs for the Tampa Bay Derby here, courtesy of Brisnet.
In California, the San Felipe (G2) sets up to be a showcase of some of Baffert’s stars. Life is Good, winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) on Jan. 2, will return here, as will Medina Spirit, who won the Robert B. Lewis (G3) on Jan. 30 after finishing second in the Sham.
Those two match up with five other 3-year-olds, including Roman Centurian, who finished second in the Robert B. Lewis, and Govenor’s Party, who crossed the wire third in the EL Camino Real Derby in his most recent start.
The Derby prep is not the only big race at The Great Race Place this weekend. Saturday’s card also will include the Santa Anita Handicap (G1).
The Big 'Cap has a dose of star power in the entries, as undefeated Maxfield will run in his first Grade 1 race since the 2019 Breeders’ Futurity. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the 4-year-old son of Street Sense comes into the race off a win on Feb. 13 in the Mineshaft (G3) at Fair Grounds.
Maxfield will face a tough test in the race, which also features Express Train running for trainer John Shirreffs. The Union Rags colt won the San Pasqual Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita in his most recent race.
Tizamagician, who finished second in the Jan. 30 San Pasqual, will run in the Big ‘Cap, as will Independence Hall, who ended up third in the Jan. 23 Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream.
Free Santa Anita Handicap PPs from Brisnet can be found here.
Adding to the betting options this week is the fourth pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The pool opens Friday, and the top morning line choices include Essential Quality at 7-2, Life Is Good at 4-1 and Greatest Honour at 6-1.
The “All Other 3-year-olds” option has morning line odds of 10-1.